Subject Material

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Published: 08.06.2010, Updated: 03.03.2017

How do you feel about mathematics? Christopher Boone, the narrator of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, just loves maths. Even though his diagnosis is not explicitly stated, labels like "nerd" and "Einstein" may soon pop into mind, as well as the suspicion that he is an autistic savant.

Christopher has a disorder called Asperger syndrome. Some of those with Asperger syndrome may be savant within one specific area. For example, Christopher just loves maths, which is his area of special skills.

It is estimated that 1% of all school children suffer from Christopher's disorder.

Figures of numbers in a frame box. Photo.Numbers 
Mark Haddon (1962) is a British author and poet whose 2003 novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, earned him wide recognition. In this novel the readers have to rely on a first-person narrator, the 15 year old Christopher, who suffers from Asperger syndrome. This affects, to a large extent, how the story is unveiled. One example is Christopher’s flair for mathematics and logic and how this is mirrored in the chapters. Due to his love for prime numbers, the book starts with chapter 2, moving on to 3, 5, 7, 11 and so forth. His literary technique is somewhat unexpected, since he starts by unfolding the story in the first chapter. The next chapter, however, seems to lose any connection whatsoever with the narrative, while the subsequent chapter moves back to the story again. This alternating focus is very characteristic of the author's narrative technique. In these introductory chapters from the novel you'll meet Christopher and hear about his teacher, Siobhan and Mrs Shears' and her dead dog.



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